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So I'm 39 weeks today and very ready to meet this baby <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> This is our second DD and we're planning our second homebirth. The first homebirth my DH was very nervous but he ended up being a fantastic labor support. Labor went very well, but DD got stuck on the way out. True shoulder dystocia that didn't resolve itself with changing positions and my midwife had to reach in and help her out. She came out perfect, apgars of 7 and 9 despite being stuck for several minutes. DH freaked out when all this was going on and was obviously very very scared.<br><br>
Fast forward. Now only 19 months later we are doing it all again. I had to do some serious soul searching with this pregnancy but came to the conclusion that despite our complication, baby and I were both better off at home and so I chose to plan another home birth. DH is not one to talk about his fears, emotions, etc. But I have tried to get him to open up to me about what he is thinking and feeling regarding our upcoming birth. He hasn't give me much until last night.<br><br>
At 11pm, after we had turned off the lights and gotten into bed, DH told me that he is nervous about this homebirth. That during the last one, when DD was stuck, he was very angry at me and wanted to yell and scream and tell me I was selfish for choosing a homebirth for my own comfort. He said he understands and even agrees with the reasons why I want a homebirth but he still feels like it is a selfish decision that completely disregards his own feelings. I was really shocked when I heard him saying all this. I tried to react calmly but inside I was just angry and flustered and scared.<br><br>
So of course, I didn't sleep at all last night. It's all I can think about today. I don't want to be selfish and put my baby in danger but I don't believe that's what I'm doing by choosing a home birth. I trust my midwife implicitly. I do worry about a possible complication but I know that most likely we won't have one. Does anyone have any advice for me? Some reassurances would be really great to hear right now. How do I get past this fear that is now lingering inside me?
 

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Oh!! Mama,lots of hugs for you..<br><br>
I don't think that your are selfish.<br>
After my first labor, I feel that my DH was selfish to not help me to looking up info during the pregnancy. He was selfish to put all his fear at front for his own sefety net. That was why we end up in a hospital with a c-section, a jundice baby and breastfeeding isssues that took me many months and lots of time reading and energy, and courage to resolve.<br>
Complete different histroy with our homebirth.. paceful birth, we have some minimal issue that we resolve over labor, but in the end, our baby born a quite place, away from unfamiliar enviroment and people, away from fears, noises, germ,just mommy and daddy touch him. Not breastfeeding problem, not crazy hands washing my little one, not place for be defended from anybody,... that was price less.
 

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The management of SD is no different at home then it is in the hospital...and may be better at home because the midwife might know more positioning tricks, like the Gaskin manouver, than an average ob. If that helps your husband at all.
 

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Mama, many many <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s to you too.<br><br>
I had a similar experience with my DH - we fought a lot about our homebirth plan with our first child and I finally, <i>finally</i> won, but he wasn't happy about it. I ended up transferring for exhaustion after several days of labor, so DD was eventually born in a hospital after all. And, actually, the transfer and hospital experience weren't too bad (in part because we'd stayed at home so long that they couldn't interfere with my labor too much).<br><br>
DH was so freaked out by the whole experience of my long, long painful labor at home, and then the anxiety of the transfer, that he is absolutely unwilling to consider another home birth. I think he would phrase it much the same way as your DH -- he sees my insistence on HB as a selfish choice that doesn't take his concerns and fears into account. (Plus, as far as he's concerned, my transfer just proved his point that 'HB doesn't work.' <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">) If I were to go ahead and insist on a HB for our next baby, I'm quite certain that our interactions on the matter would look exactly like what you describe. So I really know what you're going through!!!<br><br>
I suspect that if your husband felt very strongly about <i>not</i> wanting a home birth this time, he would have brought it up before now. You've gone through 39 weeks of pregnancy and this is the first he's mentioned it? I think with the birth so near, he's just anxious because he's remembering all the scariest parts about the last one. A dystocia is no picnic, and from his end it must have been really traumatic -- even though your MW handled it perfectly. You could point out to him how well your birth went because you were at home, and talk about what it might have been like in a hospital (if they gave you pitocin, for example, it could have been <i>much</i> worse -- per the medical literature. And if you hadn't been able to move around -- i.e., if you'd had an epidural and were confined to a hospital bed -- a dystocia could have been much more difficult to resolve and could have been fatal to the baby. Etc.)<br><br>
My DH was traumatized by my labor at home, and we had nothing out of the ordinary at all. It is astonishing to me to hear him describe my labor and birth, because he experienced so much of it as terrifying, confusing, awful, painful and scary. I actually thought that most of my labor was pretty peaceful, gentle and relaxing. Even the transfer was fairly smooth and uneventful. If my DH was traumatized by our experience, I can only imagine how upset yours was. It's understandable that he would feel that way! I think we often forget how scary and foreign this whole birthing experience is for men. Remember that for most of human history, men have been forbidden to come anywhere near a birthing woman! This may be one of the reasons why!<br><br>
It might help your DH's anxiety if you talk through your transfer plans with him. If you are honestly willing to go to the hospital at the first inkling of trouble, say so, and explain how you have prepared for that eventuality. (Transfer bag, hospital birth plan on paper or on file, pre-registration papers filled out, childcare plan for your other LO, etc.) You might even want to give <i>him</i> some ability to make that call. It wouldn't work for everybody, I know. But for us, one of the things that made DH comfortable with the whole thing was that I told him, "if at any point you are too scared and you feel that something is going wrong, then tell me you want to go to the hospital and we'll go." Having the right (and the responsibility) to make that decision for both of us helped him to feel like he was a bit more in control of the situation.<br><br>
If it's your own fear that you're worried about, take a deep breath and then go read some positive birth stories or pick up something by Ina May Gaskin and read it. And remember how well your MW handled your last birth, even with a complication. Remember that your MW is a professional who understands birth and understands birthing women. Remember, too, how bad it can be in the hospital -- even a good hospital, with good care providers. Remember how strong you are. Remember that your body is meant to do this. If you are feeling nervous because of something your DH said, focus on your own feelings, not his. If your gut says you need to change plans, because something is wrong, then go with your gut. But as in all things -- listen to your heart and follow it. You will do brilliantly with this birth. I hope you get to meet your baby soon!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
A few thoughts...<br><br>
One, as a PP said, shoulder dystocia is no better off in the hospital. It's more likely worse due to positioning requirements and potential lack of training in techniques to help move the baby. A c-section is NOT a cure for shoulder dystocia.<br><br>
Two, shoulder dystocia is not a recurring event. It's not something you can expect to have happen again. There are lots of factors that go into it, and it's an overall rarity. So just because it happened once does NOT mean it will happen again.<br><br>
Three, there are many reasons you chose a homebirth, and it's surely not just for comfort. Perhaps talking together about the many reasons why homebirth was/is a good choice would help. There are many safety factors, health factors, etc., which may help him.<br><br>
Four, do keep talking about his feelings and his experience. And, perhaps, find opportunities for him to see/experience/get an idea of what birth is like in a normal circumstance. Watch birth videos, maybe? Read "The Birth Partner." Help him to not only deal with his feelings but also to face the reality of what birth will likely be like this time.<br><br>
Hope this helps a bit! It's late and I know my thoughts are a bit fragmented!
 

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Just to emphasize the point--you and baby are really NOT better off with SD in the hospital! People like to think that *all* complications are more safely avoided or resolved in the med setting, but the research simply does not back this up. The hospital is NOT the 'safest' place to give birth, and in many ways--because of all the interference with normal birth process--you are far more likely to experience complications of all sorts in the hospital than you are at home. And far less likely to walk away from a homebirth with injuries or damage to mom and baby that are a direct result of the care you received, than you are with homebirth. I've watched SD handling at home and hospital and believe me, most med people do NOT know how to facilitate birth, and minimize harm, the way midwives generally do.<br><br>
In fact, infant and maternal mortality rates are about equal in hospital and planned, attended homebirth; however, rates of injury and illness are far higher in the hospital. Read the recent hb studies out of Canada and the Netherlands.<br><br>
Of course, that info does not do a thing for your dh's feelings at the moment. Maybe you can just acknowledge his fear--which is an 'irrational fear' in some respects, but also has some basis in rationality. He is realizing that birth is a matter of life and death. He knows now from experience that birth can have it's very scary moments. Allow him to have these feelings--offer him your acceptance and support of those feelings, your affirmation of his feelings. Hopefully, if he feels that you are truly caring about the way he feels, he may calm down enough to integrate the information comparing home and hospital birth...and to gather his courage again, by the time baby comes.<br><br>
Anyone having a baby, in any setting and with any type of care, must accept the fact that with birth, as with the rest of life, we simply have no guarantees. We do our best, that is all--and life deals what it deals--and we cope and move on as best we can. Sounds like your dh is really confronting this fact for the first time in a deep way....and it is soul-level work for sure! Many of us come to adulthood with the happy fantasy that if we work smart and hard, if we go the 'right church' or school, follow the rules and norms well enough, then we DO have some kind of guarantee of safety and happiness, prosperity, and so forth. To realize that this is a fantasy, that life is life with no guarantees--well, there is fear and loss in that realization. So let him have his feelings, be there for him while you remain as detached as you can about it all--firm in your homebirth goal, but soft in your support of his feelings. Hopefully he can work through this enough, before the birthing day arrives.<br><br>
Happy birthing!
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">The management of SD is no different at home then it is in the hospital...and may be better at home because the midwife might know more positioning tricks, like the Gaskin manouver, than an average ob. If that helps your husband at all.</div>
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That's what I was thinking!<br><br>
It's not like you had an issue that is likely to repeat and would be better handled in a hospital. Good luck, OP. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I think the main issue here is emotion, not logic.<br><br>
Honor your husband's fears and feelings. Try not to be defensive. He has gone along with you all of this time, and revealed his feelings in response to your request that he do so.<br><br>
In a relationship it is so, so important to be taken seriously, no matter how reasonable or unreasonable you are being. (True for spouses and kiddos!) You asked, and he has revealed his fears to you. The fears are causing him to also feel anger, resentment. Honor the fact that he answered you honestly when you asked, and is genuinely scared for you and your child.<br><br><i>Then</i> you can reassure him. The fact is that the SD incident was terrifying! BUT (you point out AFTER you've shown that you take him seriously and respect his fear and concern) it would have been the same or worse at a hospital, etc etc etc. THEN emphasize that your babe's safety is of foremost importance to you, not just an experience--that you have thoughtfully chosen homebirth because you are sure it IS the safest path. (And then you can explain all the further complications your first birth may have had at the hospital.)<br><br>
Throughout it all make it clear that you honor his fear. Don't be defensive, be concerned. He loves you and your child after all, that's why all of this is so hard.<br><br>
Must bring my kid to school. Best wishes mama. Remember this is all coming from love. Hope you're feeling good otherwise, and wishing you a safe and joyful birth at home.<br><br>
PS: Oh, it looks like you didn't ask him about it, he just brought it all up. I still think it's crucial that you honor these feelings. Best wishes!
 
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